• Premier League

'I want to be at Liverpool as long as possible'

ESPN staff
November 22, 2014
Rodgers: Sturridge absence is not an excuse

Raheem Sterling has given the biggest indication yet that he is ready to commit his future to Liverpool by signing a new long-term contract.

Sterling has been the subject of transfer speculation in recent weeks, with manager Brendan Rodgers confirming his club are trying to finalise a new deal for the teenage England international.

Now Sterling has suggested he believed he believes his ambitions can be fulfilled at Anfield. That revelation is a boost for Rodgers, whose team heads to Crystal Palace on Sunday after a difficult start to this season.

"The club has spoken to my representatives and hopefully something can be done really soon," Sterling told the Daily Mirror. "Hopefully I can achieve the goals I want to achieve here at Liverpool in years to come.

"I am happy to be here for as long as possible.

"The manager gave me an opportunity and I would like to think I have taken it. Hopefully I can be an example to some of the other kids here now, I am proof that Liverpool have a manager who does give young players a chance."

Sterling also spoke about the furore that followed his omission from the England team for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia last month, after national team boss Roy Hodgson suggested the winger had complained about feeling fatigued in the build-up to the game.

The story was the lead in the English media for an extended period and Sterling says he was taken aback by the reaction to Hodgson's comments, which saw him come under fire from former England internationals such as Alan Shearer.

"It was pretty difficult," Sterling revealed. "I tried not to watch TV or listen to anything. If I caught sight of a TV and the conversation was about me then I would turn over or turn it down.

"It was different, the first time I had had to deal with anything like that, but I got through it quite well. I tried not to read too much into it. It didn't affect me too much because I know I love playing football, for club or for country. If anything I said got taken the wrong way I am sorry, but it doesn't matter.

"I am happy playing football. That's what I want to focus on, the main thing I have learned in the last month is how to shut off. Before I was always on my phone and Instagram, things would pop up and you couldn't go past without having a look, but now I have learned to block it all out."

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